Money Checkup Podcast

Episode 42: Creating a Mission-Driven Business

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Brian Thompson, a tax attorney and CFP®, started his firm Brian Thompson Financial to support LGBTQ+ business owners. He works with clients to set up, organize and grow businesses that support their personal and social values. Every business can be a mission-driven business, Brian believes — as well as a business that generates a profit. 

“Businesses that have that passion and have that motivation are really motivated to work hard and make it work, and when you’re really motivated to work hard and make it work, things start to happen. Having a focus and having motivation and having vigor around making the business work has created amazing opportunities.”

Brian, a Black gay man, started his firm in part because he didn’t see people who looked like him in the finance industry. Now he hopes to inspire his clients and others to make an impact in their workplaces and on their platforms.

KEY RESOURCES REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE

ABOUT THE GUEST:

Brian Thompson is the founder of Brian Thompson Financial, which he launched in 2016 after 10 years practicing tax law. He is a tax attorney and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and provides comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. He is also a senior contributor at Forbes.

Social, website, book link:

http://btfinancial.com

brian@btfinancial.com 

Twitter: @BrianFinancial

Instagram: @btfinancial 

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • A mission-driven business combines purpose and profit — solving a social problem and impacting society while making yourself a good living. Brian works to help people find a balance between purpose and profit. 
  • Brian uses the three Kinder questions to help entrepreneurs think about their passions. Next, Brian asks his clients to envision, in detail, what their business will look like. Then he works with them to develop a strategy that will lead them to success, using the resources they have available. 
  • An established business can become a mission-driven business at any time if an entrepreneur develops that vision. Sometimes, once business owners establish their companies and feel content with their size, they may cut certain clients or take on additional mission-driven projects.
  • Every business can be a mission-driven business, Brian believes, but focus is essential to making progress. He encourages business owners to choose a lane and do as much as they can before trying to occupy another lane. 
  • Brian and Anjali both work with business coaches, who help them stay on track and out of the weeds. Brian describes himself as a “thought partner” to his clients. 
  • Brian requires his clients to revisit their vision every two years and reflect not only on how their business has grown, but on how their personal and family life has changed. Is their business structured in a way that supports their long-term health and happiness? If not, they may need to make a change.
  • This moment, in the U.S. in summer 2020, feels different than previous conversations in his lifetime about race and police brutality, Brain believes. He feels “excited, anxious, hopeful and scared” simultaneously, and has found peace in leveraging his talents and platforms to inspire others. 

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If you loved this episode, here’s another I know you’ll enjoy too! Episode 23: How Business Owners Can Build Balanced Lives

WORDS OF WISDOM

“If we can all harness our individual talents, as a collective, we can create the change we want to see.”

“I didn’t see people like me in the industry and I didn’t see people that I could model myself after. I wanted to serve as an example and say, ‘we can focus on a specific community, the people we’re trying to help and the people we’re trying to serve,’ and still make a good living.” 

“If this is what really excites me and I can still find a way to serve the people I want to serve — the LGBTQ+ community is really important to me, and serving people of color is important to me — if I can do it in a way that really leads to my skill set, all the better.” 

“Businesses that have that passion and have that motivation are really motivated to work hard and make it work, and when you’re really motivated to work hard and make it work, things start to happen. Having a focus and having motivation and having vigor around making the business work has created amazing opportunities.”

“I only have this one life, and a driving force for me has been that self-knowledge piece. Self-knowledge leads to personal freedom, and being able to really live a fulfilling life means being able to live authentically and fully. There are many parts to me that I can only be a certain person in certain arenas, and that didn’t feel good. That didn’t feel like I was living a purposeful life. Being able to be my true, whole self, and figuring out who that true, whole self is — we don’t just know these things. It’s a practice. It takes effort.”

“You can set your own boundaries, and if clients don’t like it, they’re probably not the right fit for you.” 

“I want to leave an impact and I want to help people, because we have a lot of barriers — Black gay men in particular have a lot of barriers. I’ve been lucky enough to have the business that I have, to have the life that I have, and to be able to live a great life. To me, it’s an imperative that I help others do that too.” 

“People feel like, ‘if I allow this person to have a seat at the table, I’m losing my seat.’ That’s not the truth. You’re just building a bigger table.”

“Tell your story. Share it with other people, what you’re thinking, what you’re going through, your struggles. You don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to be THE voice. Just be a voice.” 

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